Ten suspected guerrillas, one policeman killed in Caucasus

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Russian forces killed 10 suspected guerrillas, including one of the plotters of the March Moscow metro bombings that killed 40 people, officials said Saturday.

Russian forces killed five suspected militants in two separate operations in Dagestan, including a member of the group Russian authorities believed organised the metro bombings, a Dagestani interior ministry official said.

"Dmitry Danilov, born in 1969, was according to preliminary information, the sharpshooter and explosives expert of the Vagabov group," the official was quoted as saying.

Russian authorities on August 21 announced the death in shootout of Magomedali Vagabov, the suspected mastermind of the double bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers on the Moscow metro on March 29 that killed 40 and wounded more than 100.

Five suspected guerrillas were killed in Russia's Caucasian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria when police troops stormed their hideout, the local FSB security service said.

"Five guerrillas were killed in an apartment of a five-storey house" in Kabardino-Balkaria's capital Nalchik, an FSB spokesman was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

One of those killed was Arsene Khabiyev, who the FSB said was the head of a cell that was planning further attacks.

No police were injured in the overnight operation, the FSB spokesman said.

Dagestan is part of Russia's volatile North Caucasus region where authorities are battling an Islamist insurgency and where shootings and bomb attacks are a near-daily occurrence.

Kabardino-Balkaria is seen as more stable than violence-torn Caucasus regions such as Chechnya and Dagestan but has still seen mounting violence in the last months.

In the most recent case, a husband and wife, both FSB employees, were murdered in Kabardino-Balkaria's tourist attraction of Chegem while apparently on holiday, officials said Friday.

© 2010 AFP

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